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CycleAware Bicycle Mirrors

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A mirror is an essential piece of equipment for anyone traveling by bike. Having the ability to see behind you is of great importance, as it is something that could potentially save your life!

I’ve met people in the past who have been hit by a car, attacked from behind, and pushed off the road by a passing RV. But the reason I don’t have a story like that is because I refuse to get on my bike without a mirror.

A bicycle traveler should be constantly aware of his or her surroundings. Without a mirror, you’re putting yourself at risk and increasing your chances of catastrophe out on the road.

A smart cyclist is aware of his surroundings… and every smart cyclist I know rides with a mirror.

Today I have produced an article for you about four different types of bicycle mirrors – all of which are made by a company called CycleAware.

In this article I have displayed for you not only what the mirrors look like, but also created a rendering of what you might see when using each of these different types or mirrors (from your perspective as a rider).

Finally, I have listed what I believe to be the benefits and drawbacks of each of the mirrors and provided some links to where you can purchase these mirrors for yourself. I have listed the mirrors in order from my personal favorite to the one I like the least.

Please note that if you are interested in purchasing any of the mirrors here, CycleAware has an outstanding Satisfaction Policy which states that “If, at any time or for any reason, you do not feel that your purchase from CycleAware.com has worn well or lived up to your expectations, please let us know and we will replace worn or broken parts or the complete item.”

At the bottom of this review you can see some of the comments that CycleAware had to say about my review of their products.

____________________________________________________________________________________

CycleAware Reflex Mirror

The reason I’ve selected the Reflex as my personal favorite mirror is because it’s easy to install, is easy to adjust while you’re riding, is extremely durable, provides a huge view of what’s coming up behind you, and best of all… you put it on once and then you can forget about it!

Here is what the Reflex looks like when you are on your bike:

Advantages:

Easy to install.

You can remove it from the helmet and put it back on later (which is great when traveling off of your bike)

Provides an extra large view.

Is easy to adjust when you are on your bike.

Works on every kind of helmet

Weighs only 0.7 ounces (21.8 grams)

You don’t have to worry about it every time you get on or off your bike.

Disadvantages:

If you remove the mirror from it’s arm too many times, the joint becomes loose and the mirror won’t hold its position.

It’s possible to break the mirror from its arm if you throw the mirror down or hit it on a branch or other such object.

Buy It Now

____________________________________________________________________________________

CycleAware ViewPoint Mirror

When I first got this mirror in the mail, I thought that there was no way this tiny little thing that sticks to the inside of your sunglasses could do it’s job. And when I first placed the mirror on my lens, all I could see was a black blob in the corner of my eye. But after just a minute of adjusting, I found the sweet spot and was totally blown away by just how well this tiny little mirror worked!

The reason I like this mirror so much is that you install it once and then you forget about it. You don’t have to re-adjust it every time you get on your bike. And what’s even cooler is the fact that other people don’t know you are wearing a mirror! You’ll feel like a spy wearing this tiny mirror and watching the people behind you. The main drawback of this mirror is that it provides a much smaller image than the Reflex or Heads Up mirrors. Also, I don’t always wear a pair of sunglasses when I am bicycling. With this mirror, you’d be forced to wear glasses – even at night!

Here is what the ViewPoint looks like when you are on your bike:

Advantages:

Incredibly small and lightweight.

Provides a good image of what’s behind you.

Pivots up to 40 degrees.

Mounts to almost all sunglasses.

Easy to remove and remount later.

Other people won’t know you are wearing a mirror.

You don’t have to worry about adjusting it every time you get on or off your bike.

You don’t have to worry about breaking it like some of the other mirrors on the market.

Disadvantages:

Installing it for the first time is tricky.

Provides a much smaller view than the Reflex and Heads Up mirrors.

Takes some getting used to.

You have to be wearing sunglasses to use this mirror.

Almost impossible to adjust while you are riding your bike.

Buy Now

____________________________________________________________________________________

CycleAware Heads Up!

The Heads Up, like the Reflex mirror, provides a large image and is easy to adjust. But unlike the Reflex which mounts to your helmet, the Heads Up attaches to your sunglasses.

If you wear sunglasses every time you get on your bike, this is a good thing, but the reason I rate this mirror third is because you have to install the mirror every single time you take your glasses off. And like any piece of equipment that is constantly put on and off, this mirror is more prone to damage than any of the other mirrors I tested.

Here is what the Heads Up looks like when you are on your bike:

Advantages:

Easy to install.

Provides an extra large view.

Is easy to adjust when you are on your bike.

Won’t damage your glasses.

Weighs only 0.1 ounce (3.1 grams)

Disadvantages:

You have to wear sunglasses in order to use this mirror.

You have to install and adjust it every time you get back on your bike.

Easy to break.


____________________________________________________________________________________

Lastly, the VüBar is a mirror that fits inside of your mountain bike handlebar and easily flips in and out of the bar when you need it.

The reason I’ve rated this mirror last is because it only works on mountain bikes, needs to be adjusted all the time, and even though it is the largest of the mirrors, it provides the smallest view (because the mirror is so far away from your eyes).

This mirror may have a good purpose, but for long distance bicycle touring, this isn’t an item I would recommend.

Here is what the Vübar looks like when you are on your bike:

Advantages:

Relatively easy to install.

Distortion-free shatterproof mirror.

Large 2.5″ x 1″ mirror.

Weighs only 0.6 ounces (18.7 grams)

Upon impact, the breakaway mirror connection allows the mirror to detach, preventing breakage.

Easily flips in and out of the handlebar, so you can use it when you want and get rid of it when you don’t need it.

Disadvantages:

Really hard to adjust.

Moves around a lot when on rough terrain.

Because the mirror is far away from your head, the image in the mirror is really small and hard to see.

If you drop the bike with the mirror in its extended position, the mirror is prone to break.

Can only be used on mountain bikes with flat handlebars. Can not be used on bicycles with dropped handlebars.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Here Is What CycleAware Had To Say:

Reflex Disadvantages:

If you remove the mirror from its arm too many times, the joint becomes loose and the mirror won’t hold its position. If over time the small socket on Reflex loosens up, CycleAware sells a Reflex Parts Kit for $9.95 that includes: 2 adhesives, 1 small and 1 large socket/base and 1 oval mirror. Per our satisfaction policy : If, at any time or for any reason you do not feel that your purchase has worn well or lived up to your expectations, please let us know and we replace worn or broken parts or the complete item.

It’s possible to break the mirror from its arm if you throw the mirror down or hit it on a branch or other such object. Actually this is a designed-in safety feature, in that we want the mirror to pop off upon impact to decrease the chance of injury. It is also for this reason that all of the materials we use are 100% safe, and the reason we do not use any glass or exposed metal/wire.)

ViewPoint Disadvantages:

Installing it for the first time is tricky. This can be true, and we include a spare adhesive in every package. Also note, though that CycleAware is making efforts to simplify the installation by providing a list of glasses that work optimally with ViewPoint such as most styles of Tifosi, Rudy Project, Bolle (actually, any glasses that are not drastically curved).

Lastly, we are in the process of updating the images of ViewPoint affixed to the sunglasses that appear on the web. Currently the ViewPoint is positioned slightly too low and too far to the left side of the lens. The easiest way to find the right spot is to place the tip of your left pointer finger on the outside of your lens. If your finger impairs your vision, move your finger slightly to the left until your vision is not compromised. Don’t go too far to the left or you may strain your eyes when using the mirror.

Provides a much smaller view than the Reflex and Heads Up mirrors. Very true, although for those cyclists who prefer not to use an “exposed mirror” such as Reflex or Heads Up!, ViewPoint is so much better than no mirror at all.

You have to be wearing sunglasses to use this mirror. True, although we consider some lenses – clear lenses for rain or night – to be essential for safety as well.

Heads Up Disadvantages:

You have to install and adjust it every time you get back on your bike. True, though we find Heads Up very easy to re-install and adjust again, and we enjoy being able to remove the mirror and sticking it in a pocket at a rest stop or in a pen holder on our desk at work. No doubt though that we understand the beauty in having your mirror always set to go like Reflex or ViewPoint.

Easy to break. Heads Up is designed to slightly bend to conform to a variety of sunglass temples. In addition, the arm can be gently bent (molded) to the left or the right to dial it in properly. The prongs are not designed to bend. But if and when prongs or the arm should break, CycleAware will always send out a free replacement arm pursuant to our satisfaction policy.

VüBar Disadvantages:

Really hard to adjust. No question CycleAware provides VüBar as more of a “gee whiz” fun type of mirror than a practical commuting or touring mirror. CycleAware agrees that readers of BicycleTouringPro.com are much better served by using helmet or eyewear mounted mirrors.

Moves around a lot when on rough terrain. To avoid VüBar moving, you can butt up the end of the mirror close to the end of the bar

Click here to purchase any of the CycleAware bicycle mirrors reviewed here!

About Darren Alff

Darren Alff is a world-renowned authority on bicycle touring and is the founder of BicycleTouringPro.com - the world's most popular bicycle touring website and how-to information source. He is the author of "The Bicycle Touring Blueprint" and three additional cycling books. Darren has dedicated his life to helping others conduct the bicycle tour of their dreams. His websites, books, email newsletter, products and public appearances now inspire and assist hundreds of thousands of people from all around the world.

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39 Comments

  1. Darrell Robertson

    July 29, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks for the info. I’ve bought and thrown away various mirrors after finding them inadequate or just plain shoddy. This article gives good advice.

  2. Bob Bruttell

    July 29, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    I have used three of the four (not the Viewpoint) and think your comments are right on. I would add that when a mirror is mounted to your helmet you get more bounce. And when you keep removing it it gets lost or bent somewhere in your stuff.

  3. Jim

    July 29, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Reflex Disadvantages: If you remove the mirror from its arm too many times, the joint becomes loose and the mirror won’t hold its position.

    When this happened to mine I was on tour. I had some crazy glue with me and put a coating on the little ball part and let it dry several times effectively increasing the radius of the ball. Be sure the glue is completely dry before reinstalling the ball to the socket. It works great and has lasted for over two years to date.

  4. Burt

    July 29, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    You did not mention the “BEST” mirror around. I’ve been using the same one for over 10 years. “Take a Look” made by Bike Peddler.

  5. Jerry Seguin

    September 22, 2008 at 6:48 am

    My daughter used to work for AVIS. They had a promotion going on where they gave away sun glasses with built-in mirrors on the inside of both outside ends on the glasses(about 1/3). I still have them after 10 years. They are starting to wear a little. They are great!. No installation, no adjustment and you can see behind you on both sides. The glass lens is flat not rounded so they are not very stylish but who cares. I have tried to find a source for these glasses but have had no luck. Is anyone aware of them? I would buy a pair at a heart beat.

  6. Randy Rasa

    September 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I used ThirdEye mirrors for quite awhile — both the eyeglass and helmet-mount versions — and liked them well enough, but found that since they were made of plastic, they broke too easily.

    After breaking my third ThirdEye mirror, I switched to the Take-a-Look mirror, and have been well satisfied with it. It can mount to either glasses (which is how I use it) or to a helmet visor, and is far more flexible and rugged than the ThirdEye mirrors, plus it provides a wider view than the circular mirrors.

    The ViewPoint mirror certainly looks interesting, but not being able to easily swap lenses is kind of a deal-breaker for me. Perhaps some sort of a magnetic mount rather than adhesive would make it more portable, though it’d mean giving up on the “stealth” aspect of the mirror.

    Good review, Darren. You might also want to review some additional bar-mount mirrors — I understand there are some pretty good ones available…

  7. Darren Alff

    September 28, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    I’d love to do a review of all the different handlebar mounted mirrors at some point in time. I’m sure I’ll do it at some point in time. I’m adding it to my mile-long list of article ideas. Thanks!

  8. Miguel Marcos

    November 23, 2008 at 10:28 am

    I’ve had a Mirrycle handlebar mirror for years and years. It’s solid, very adjustable. and the mirror is slightly convex so the coverage is great without being distorted. I love it, it’s the best thing around especially when I’m in traffic. They make 3 models now, I have the original.

    I prefer a handlebar mirror since it doesn’t block my view in any meaningful way and the coverage is magnitudes better than a helmet based mirror.

  9. Miguel Marcos

    November 23, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Correction, I have the Mountain Mirrycle mirror, not the Original.

  10. progressive cycle coaching

    November 25, 2008 at 2:12 am

    I’d love to try my hand on eluscent handlebar mounted mirrors..It seems it has umpteeth of qualities, which usually a normal bike dosnt possess

  11. Val

    November 25, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Interested in this article as I’ve never used a mirror, as never really wanted to be distracted (or terrified) by what’s behind.

    Don’t think they are that commonly used in the UK or the rest of Europe, but no doubt hundreds of people will now write in to say they use them. Are they for racing types? I hop on the bike to go to the shops and also camp-tour, but not needed a mirror yet.

    Having seen the review, think I’ll continue not to bother.

    Also, not many places to attach them if you don’t have a helmet or glasses…

  12. Jim Smith

    March 18, 2009 at 5:21 am

    Good article. Since I ride a recumbent, mirrors are an essential piece of equipment on the bike, since “bent” riders can’t turn around and see vehicles from behind. In the nine years I have been riding a “bent” I have become so accustomed to my mirror that I could not imagine riding without one. I have had multiple types of mirrors and would highly recommend one that does not break when the bike falls over.

  13. Jim McCracken

    March 25, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Here’s another helmet mounted mirror to consider. It’s without a doubt the sturdiest one made.

    Efficient Velo Tools EVT Safe Zone Helmet Mirror
    http://www.biketoolmaker.com/Site/Safe-Zone_Helmet_Mirror.html

    The problem I’ve had with other helmet mirrors has been the durability. After a few months (sometimes even weeks) the attachment to the helmet begins to fail, it does not want to stay attached anymore and needs to be re-glued. The other issue I’ve had with the mirrors is after they are exposed to enough vibration the moving points on the mirror (pivot points) begin to loosen. When this happens the mirror will not hold it’s adjustment. You are riding on a rough road you have to continually re-adjust the mirror so that you can see what’s behind you.

    After 16 months of using the Efficient Velo Tools mirror, I have found it to have none of these issues. It holds its adjustments very well, stays attached to the helmet (the zip tie attachment system is genius.)

  14. Ray Craighead

    August 8, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Maybe it’s because I’m an artist, but has anyone else notice that the road in the “mirror image” in ALL the samples above, is on the wrong side of the bike rider? I have used the Reflex mirror for thousands of miles and I’m very familiar with the view. The one shown is backwards. :) No big deal. I just find it funny.

  15. Murray Snowden

    September 11, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I found a helmet mirror that gives the best view behind you. Its not cheap $40
    but its over 2 in in diameter. I can see all lanes and anyone in bike lane behind me
    http://www.biketoolmaker.com/Site/Safe-Zone_Helmet_Mirror.html

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  17. keith

    December 14, 2009 at 2:43 am

    ive got a serious issue i keep falling off my bike.

    i have fallen off 3 times ive broken my leg foot and arm.
    one of these was because i got hit by a car because i coundnt see it

    PLEASE HELP!!!

  18. Michael

    January 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Couldn’t agree more about mirrors. I started using one on my commute this past summer. It makes a huge difference. The traffic in front of you–where some of the biggest threats are–can command much more of your attention when you know where the cars are behind.

    I won’t ride in traffic without a mirror anymore. I currently use a Heads-Up, but I like the looks of the ViewPoint!

  19. mindaz

    February 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Another vote here for ‘Take a look’ mirror – it’s very light but sturdy and greatly adjustable…

  20. Logan

    February 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Darren, Jim, and Murray,

    Russ Roca over at the epicurean cyclist did a similarly great review on mirrors and included Brett’s EVT mirror you mentioned in your comments. I had similar problems that Jim mentioned and after yet another mirror broke because of cheap materials I invested in the EVT mirror. Biggest and strongest helmet mirror ever and made in the USA!

    Here is Russ’s review link: http://epicureancyclist.com/?p=113

    Cheers,
    Logan.

  21. JB

    March 1, 2010 at 2:34 am

    im doing school GCSE research on these mirror what one would be best?

  22. Andrew Barnard Harper

    June 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Hello Sir:
    I’m planning a cross country trip next year and am planning on taking my fifteen pound Jack Russell with me. I am investigating trailers now and am about to order a CycleTote.
    Could you please send me any thoughts, insights, advice, etc. on carrying your pet?
    I’ve ordered your Blueprint but have not finished reading it. You may address this topic in it.
    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
    With kind regards,
    Andrew Barnard Harper

  23. Greg

    June 10, 2010 at 7:25 am

    RE: Burt on July 29th, 2008 9:47 pm

    Burt is right, the Take A Look mirror is the best one I have found and is the standard for those who use a mirror in the local roadie bike club (because it works GREAT!).

    Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C17M26

    * Versatile, vibration-free cycling mirror mounts on eyeglasses and helmet visors
    * Three pivot points for total adjustability
    * Frameless acrylic mirror provides a wide, uninterrupted field of vision
    * Adjusts for both left- and right-side use
    * Made in USA; backed by a manufacturer’s unconditional guarantee

  24. Siavash

    November 7, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I’m looking for Third Eye that hook up to helmet but i think can’t find it in Iran(Tehran)

  25. Bicycle Touring Pro

    November 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Hi Siavash, I’m not sure where to find the Third Eye mirrors in Iran. You’d probably have to order them online through a site like Amazon.com and then have the product shipped to you. Good luck!

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  27. William DeBuvitz

    May 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I have used all types of mirrors. We lay our bikes on top of each other in our SUV and the bike-mounted mirrors get broken. The helmet-mounted ones are nice but they also break easily. I like the ones that attach to the frame of my glasses, but my latest goggle-type sunglasses which protect my eyes from pollen do not accept them. For me, the best mirror is the one I made to mount on my wrist. I bought a package of two BLIND SPOT MRRORS by STERLING for $1.00 at a DOLLAR STORE. They are convex and are meant to be attached to a car mirror for a wide-angle view. I made a plastic right-angle bracket which I mounted on the face of an old broken digital watch and then mounted the mirror on the bracket with double-stick tape that came on the mirror. The mirror works great.

  28. mike cosenza

    June 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I’ve been using handlebar mirrors (both sides) for several years now with great results. The bar mirrors typically come equipped with a flat glass mirror which has a limited field of view. However, it’s easy to convert to a convex mirror (wide field of view) with the addition of a 3 inch diameter glue on accessory mirror available everywhere even here in Thailand where I live. The convex accessory mirror typically comes with a piece of double sided tape to mount on your car’s sideview mirror. I use the tape for the initial installation and then seal all the edges with Goop brand adhessive. It’s now fixed in place for life.

    A French friend of mine rides with drop bars and has installed a small (2 inch diameter) round mirror in his bar end.

    The bottom line is that bike mirrors come in all sizes and shapes for both MTB bars as well as drop bars and as far as I’m concerned are indespensible.

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  31. Dexter

    August 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I bought a mirror for my new bike. I am the man.

  32. Jo

    March 1, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Hi everyone,

    I’m using the Reflex mirror & I’m finding it really difficult to get the view I want. I can also see my shoulder in it & when I try to adjust it all I see is street lighting…… Any tips would be much appreciated.

    I wear the Reflex on the right of my helmet as I’m in the UK.

    Thanks guys!

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  34. Larry Wyatt

    August 4, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I tell every new cyclist that a mirror is the most important accessory that is needed. That is even above a helmet. I like a mirror that stays attached to my bike since I don’t always wear a brain bucket.
    The Mirrycle Mirror holds an image the best that I’ve found. I has a large view with a solid mount. I find myself many times, not even looking back when turning left. I is really that true and good. Don’t wast your money with flexible arm mirrors.

  35. Peter de Visser

    December 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Hopefully my link below works.
    It shows a (now worn out) testmodel of my selfmade mirror out of shiny plastic for my glasses.
    My BEST model NOW, after some improvements, is made of:
    –DVD-material. (The shiniest side.Use a tiny saw to cut it).
    –a big paperclip.(Bent in the right shape to fit.)
    –measures: 11 x 7 mm
    –total weight: 1 gram (!)
    –glue that sticks to metal and DVD-material
    –Piece of flexible plastic that keeps the paperclip to the glasses when in use.

    After construction the right angle of the mirror has to be found by trial and error.
    See:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_MeopumGYszk/S5PWUgsdTGI/AAAAAAAAAB4/QIXJ1PSAs5Q/s1600/P1000804.JPG

  36. Dave Smith

    January 10, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Can’t believe that ” Take A Look ” cyclist mirror wasn’t in here ???? Top rear view mirror.
    Great artical.
    Cheers.

    • Bicycle Touring Pro

      January 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Well, this is an article about CycleAware Bicycle Mirrors. That’s why the “Take A Look” mirror is not mentioned. :)

  37. Mark

    May 9, 2014 at 6:03 am

    This is an excellent review. I particularly liked the responses from the manufacturers. And having a mirror indeed makes all the difference in the world. I am deaf so I will never hear a car coming behind me no matter what. I first started using mirrors when I was delivering papers on my bike and have used them ever since. Glad to see these products have come a long way. I am particularly curious about the ViewPoint mirror. Have you ever put one on both sides? Left and Right?

  38. Kelly

    July 18, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Why can’t some company copy the old Rhode Gear mirror? Don’t even mention that piece of plastic crap Blackburn makes.

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